When I first entered motherhood, my life revolved around my child. I would feed my child first before feeding myself, filled my social media pages with photos of her and every little thing she did, created hashtags under her name, and changed my playlist from ‘George Harrison’ to ‘Elmo & Friends’.
It was not until further into motherhood and then having two kids when I realized the effects of the imbalance I had been practising all those while - the way I allowed my world to revolve around my children and the way I had inadvertently forgotten myself. So much so, that I actually slowly felt nauseated over children’s songs, and I dreaded hearing any further topics related to child-rearing. The imbalance had affected my emotions.
There was this brief moment when The Cranberries came on the radio and I nonchalantly sang to it, having the words at the back of my head, when I felt this unusual sense of freedom and the realization of just how much I missed that. Just how much I missed myself. I lost myself to motherhood and I missed her.
But what is lost can be found. And I guess that’s one of the many great lessons that motherhood has taught me. That in loving someone else, we also shouldn’t stop loving ourselves. In fact, loving and caring for ourselves are the foundation needed before we could love and care for somebody else.
I have learned that I need to celebrate myself as a woman in order to be whole, and consecutively, a happier mother to my children. And that I am not just a mother, but a woman of many wonderful roles - a struggling-and-forever-learning Allah’s servant, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a sister, a friend, a lover of words, a travel junkie, a dreamer, a work in progress.
I used to focus so much on activities for my child that I lost touch of my own hobbies. Upon the realization of the importance of self-care in our daily grind as parents, I now write poems almost everyday in between playing with my kids. I guess it’s a blessing in disguise indeed, getting lost deep in the realms of motherhood.
Because in losing myself, I found myself. And what a wonderful feeling it is to connect back to the poetry-loving woman in me.